I listen to Dave Ramsey’s podcast on my drive into work every day. This helps me to stay motivated with our “debt snowball,” and quite frankly, shows me that we don’t have it nearly as bad as others!
When I listen to some of these callers, I am in shock. The one woman I was listening to today has an income of $30,000/year and a mortgage payment of $950/month! Are you serious? No WONDER you are broke.
Another woman called in and states she has a $100,000 second mortgage on her house. SECOND MORTGAGE. She states, “Well, we got a new kitchen, and I have a car on it…” Dave asks how much the car was, and she nonchalantly replies, “$38,000.” When this woman stated she had a $100,000 SECOND MORTGAGE, I said, “whoah!” And then, when she said she had a $38,000 vehicle, I was in disbelief.
I may be a bit biased because Todd and I bought our home at auction for $35,000. We had to put in a $16,000 septic, $5,000 roof, and many repairs (that are still going). Our total mortgage is less than one year of our gross salary. Our mortgage is about a quarter of my take home salary. We could have easily purchased a home that was 3 times the amount of our current mortgage, but I cannot imagine the stress that would come along with it. We have piece of mind knowing that if either one of us were to lose our job, we could live off of one income.
Onto vehicles: Does anyone really need a $38,000 vehicle? Ok…I admit, I would like an all electric car. There is a manufacturer in our area that makes them. I cannot justify buying an automobile that cost more than our house. We have two vehicles that were both $12,000 or less to purchase. And guess what? I bet both of our vehicles get better gas mileage than this lady’s $38,000 vehicle. No, no one will ever come up to me and say, “Wow. What a luxurious vehicle you have!” But I have always had people ask me, “What kind of car is that? What type of mileage do you get?”
My point is, I am Ok with being mediocre. Or as Dave Ramsey calls it, “weird.” If that means I am able to become Financially Independent by not owning a $200,000 home, a $40,000 car, and making $100,000/year – then sobeit.